Would-be New York mayor Anthony Weiner has said the revelation he sex texted a young woman months after resigning from Congress for similar behaviour would not force him to quit the electoral race.
“This is entirely behind me,” he said, just hours after he confirmed exchanging sexually explicit photos and text messages online. “There was no question that what I did was wrong,” he added.
He resigned his Congressional seat in June 2011 after acknowledging having sexual correspondence, including a photo of a man’s bulging underwear, with at least a half-dozen women.
In recent months, he has re-emerged to become a leading candidate for mayor. The New York Times and three of his rivals for mayor called on Weiner to drop out of the race.
The 48-year-old acknowledged some of the activity took place as recently last summer, more than a year after he resigned from Congress – and after he and his wife gave a glowing magazine interview in which they said their troubles were behind them.
“I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out and today they have,” Mr Weiner said. He also said “some things posted today are true and some are not,” but he did not elaborate.
His wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stood by him during his comments, at times smiling nervously, and made rare public statements on her husband’s behaviour.
“I love him. I have forgiven him. And as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward,” she said. She acknowledged that he “made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after.” She did not appear with him at the raucous news conference when he stepped down from Congress.
After they walked away from the news conference, out of sight of the crowd, Mr Weiner put his arm around her. He then attended a mayoral forum on gay issues and was warmly received.
The new allegations could severely test voters’ willingness to forgive Mr Weiner, who has said he spent the two years since the original scandal trying to make things right with his wife and earn redemption.